Samsung Galaxy S3 'sudden death' security flaw fixed in UK

Samsung is rolling out a security fix to UK Galaxy S3 phones to avoid them being wiped by a remote hacker.

Samsung is beginning to roll out a security patch to UK Galaxy S3 phones, designed to clear up a bug in the S3's Exynos chip that could potentially see some phones being wiped or bricked by naughty hackers.

The sudden death bug , as it's known, was found by an XDA Developers user and gives hackers access to the RAM of phones including the Galaxy S2 , S3 and Note. "RAM dump, kernel code injection and others could be possible via app installation from Play Store," user alephzain explains.

Samsung has pointed out that it only affects a very limited number of devices, but it could affect those running stock Android or custom ROMs after rooting the device.

The update is said to be available now as an over-the-air release or over Kies software but at the time of writing, my Galaxy S3 showed no available update, so it could be that certain models are receiving it before others. XDA explains how to download the update manually using Kies, but warns you do this at your own risk.

Having your phone potentially bricked by a remote hacker with a malicious mind is clearly quite a worrying issue, but it doesn't seem to have been a widespread one. Security holes are sadly quite a common occurrance, particularly in new software that may have had small issues overlooked. Thankfully, Samsung has acted to patch it up before too much damage has been done.

Have you been affected by the bug? Do you know anyone who has? Let me know in the comments below, or over on our rock-solid Facebook page.

About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.


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